“I enlarged my works. I built for myself houses and planted for myself vineyards. I made for myself gardens and orchards. I planted in them trees that bear every fruit. I made for myself pools of water and I caused the forest drink from them as the trees sprouted.”
Solomon was famous in his time and even today for the building projects that he laid out. While he is likely best known for the building of the Temple of his day, he spent twice as much time building his own palace. In addition, he had the a number of cities rebuilt from the ravages of war and had a series of “store cities” built for keeping his possessions. Further, there were places for his chariots and horses and he commissioned the building of a fleet of ships to acquire even more wealth and prestige for his name. That is not to mention the orchards and gardens he built outside the walls of the city (it was forbidden to plant an orchard inside Jerusalem’s walls) What Solomon did, he did big, there is no denying that.
But do you notice a theme here? The first-person is used repeatedly through this text. And in each case, he emphasizes the first person when he says repeatedly, “I made for myself…” Therein lies the problem. Solomon is speaking of building to suit his own reputation and thus his own vanities rather than building to pursue God’s glories.
Isn’t it interesting how we fall into the same trap as did Solomon? We pursue our own agendas and our own wealth rather than pursuing God’s Kingdom an this glory. And then we wonder why we are not satisfied. We labor and build, but to what end? If you are more concerned about your own status, reputation, or legacy than you are with God’s, then you need repent of your sin and reevaluate your life…simple as that. The real question is, “Will you?”